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January 2020 Archives

The four ways to contest a will in Nevada

In certain cases, a potential heir in Nevada may want to contest a will if they believe it should be invalidated. Though a will cannot be contested just because the heirs don't like the contents, there are several reasons why a will can be legally contested.

How the SECURE Act could affect estate plans

Many people in Nevada include their retirement accounts as part of their overall estate plan. In the past, people often planned that the named beneficiary on their individual retirement account, or IRA, could take the distributions from the plan over their entire lifetime. However, with the passage of the SECURE Act, inherited IRAs will be handled differently moving forward. With some exceptions for minor children, spouses and beneficiaries with chronic illnesses or disabilities, the full distribution of an IRA must be taken within 10 years of the death of the primary account owner.

Stepping up as a successor trustee

Many people in Nevada find that trusts are very helpful to their estate planning process. The additional privacy, flexibility and control provided by these options mean that they can be valuable tools in distributing assets after a person passes away. Still, people who are named as successor trustees in a trust may be unfamiliar about what to do when the trust's creator dies because many people are less familiar with trusts than, for example, the role of the executor of a will. In many cases, people create trusts during their lifetime, during which they retain full control over the property in the trust.

How to correct estate planning problems

Changes to the tax law or other events that happen during a person's life may cause estate planning problems. For instance, a trust may become obsolete because of a change to the tax code or because it fails to provide for a newborn child. If an irrevocable trust does become outdated for any reason, it may be possible to change with permission from a judge or from the trust's beneficiaries.

An overview of irrevocable trusts

Nevada residents may be interested in using an irrevocable trust as part of their estate plans. An irrevocable trust is one that generally cannot be modified without the consent of all of its beneficiaries. Once an item is transferred to the trust, the trust obtains full ownership of that item. Irrevocable trusts offer a variety of potential benefits such as shielding assets from being seized to satisfy a judgment or as part of a divorce settlement.

What to know about wills and probate

If an individual who owns property in Nevada passes away, his or her estate may need to go through probate. This may be true whether or not that individual had a will. Certain assets such as a life insurance policy or a home that was owned jointly with another person may be able to bypass this process. The point of the probate process is to verify that a will is valid and enter it into the public record.

Reading of wills no longer required by states

Nevada residents who have had a loved one recently pass away may be interested to know if they were named in the will. A will is a legal document that allows a person to determine what happens to their estate after they pass away. Wills typically name the beneficiaries and the amount of the estate that they'll receive after the testator's death.

Estate planning advice in the new year

The start of a new year may be a good time for Nevada residents and others to review their estate plans. In 2020, there will be a presidential election, and shifts in political philosophy could have tax and other estate planning consequences. For instance, some believe that estate tax rates could increase as the estate tax exemption goes down. While it is important to note that nothing is certain before it happens, it is generally a good idea to be proactive in case something does change.

The new year is the perfect time to review your estate plan

As the new year gets underway, you may be thinking of certain matters you need to address to ensure a happy year ahead. You may think of diet changes you want to make, doctor appointments you need to schedule and personal matters you need to update. In particular, you may want to ensure that your estate plan still contains the correct information to reflect your wishes.

The importance of estate planning for business owners

Business owners in Nevada and throughout the country will ideally take the task of estate planning seriously. Doing so may help to ensure that a company is successful after the original owner no longer owns or operates it. While many people wait until later in life to put together such a plan, it may be best to do so as early as possible. A company owner can start the planning process by naming potential successors long before any changes need to take place.

How to account for the SECURE Act

In 2019, the federal estate tax exemption was $11.4 million. In 2018, there were only 1,900 families that were subject to this tax, which means that it has become less of an issue for most people who are creating their estate plans. Typically, Nevada residents and others are more concerned about limiting capital gains taxes or otherwise making a plan as easy to carry out as possible. However, the SECURE Act may require individuals and families to adjust their current plans.

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